what is said to the rose


November 07
I'm a Liberal-Arab-Poet-Politico-Red-Sea Dervish-Punk. Lone wolf, socially anti-social, I'm way too influenced by Rumi, the drum machine, Nick Cave, Ian Curtis, 1977, the Cramps, the Stooges, the 13th Floor Elevators and Excene Cervenka


Here it is, and I could't say it any better today. Except that summertime and the song "Beat It" are forever entertwined. Goodbye '80s.


Michael Jackson Mind-Melds With The Middle East


I, for one, could have told you this was going

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The Saturday edition!! Read more about this exercise here, here, and here.

The following is an example of how I developed the 5 words into a comprehensive piece. It's polished but true to the narrative that sprung out of the following five words:

Sing; Apple; Tin; Forty; Matchstick.

 … Read full post »

FEBRUARY 13, 2009 5:02PM

Friday the 13th's 5 Word Friday

The first two 5 words exercises can be found here and here. Do try all 5 words, it's meant to warm you up so be bold and don't edit. Lord knows I don't beyond striking out a word or two. And today's exercise didn't feel "final" so I know there's work… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 8, 2009 12:00PM

25 Things pt. 2 and a Grand Finale

Part 1 is over here.

14.  I spent a good part of the ‘80s travelling/transiting through Europe, and went to Boarding school in England. I used to have an English accent because it was drilled into me; it was just that kind of school. We played lacrosse in the snow… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 7, 2009 10:00PM

25 Things pt. 1


I'm breaking this down in to two parts, it just seems more digestable that way.

1. I have the ace of spades tattooed on my middle finger. I love  Motorhead, I love their  song Ace of Spades, and the Ace of Spades is the death card. Enough said.

2.… Read full post »

Read here to find out more about this exercise.

 Minimum tinkering and fresh off the fingers!


 Almond, twirl, seat, boulevard, hint


Kick back from the ground

arch and swing,

a hint of almond

blossoms from the dirt… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 4, 2009 6:18PM

Remembering Alexandria

I was six years old when I saw my first beggar. My family was newly arrived in Egypt, and we were settling in for a few months before crossing the Red Sea to make our return to Saudi Arabia. My early years in America did not prepare me at all for… Read full post »

All I could think was "rock on, gold dust woman" Because there was a silver spoon that lay in the saucer that housed my beautiful coffee. The froth swirled up out of the most delicate of china, a dizzying confection topped with 24 karat gold dust; a most beautiful presentation from… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 2, 2009 4:49PM

Blue, Blue, Electric Blue...

Blue Souk, Sharjah UAE


There is a certain Love that is formed out of the elixir of the East” Jalaluddin Rumi



A love for the landing strip

A love for the night heat

A love for the luggage carousel.

 … Read full post »

My former poetry professor, and mentor, taught me an exercise that I do daily. It's one of few things I actually have made a habit of for years now, other than bathing, and brushing teeth etc.

It's simple and it can generate good stuff. Pick 5 words, they each can… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 26, 2009 10:59PM

Obama Speaks To The Arab World

The head of Al-arabiya's Washington DC bureau landed an interview with President Obama. The interview aired tonight, and was just dissected on CNN with the Al-arabiya reporter on board as part of the panel. I mention meeting Hisham here.

This act of trasnparency is unprecedented for an American presi… Read full post »

JANUARY 25, 2009 12:49AM

My OS New Year's Resolutions

I'm still new here, and I spend a lot of time lurking because every blog community has its own tone, diction, slang etc.  I've been wanting to post, but I found myself turning grim over the holidays, due to Gaza, and when I sit down to write I freeze up. I… Read full post »

I waited in long lines last night, just to get a metro ticket for today. And headed downtown anyways to see my mother off to a social. It wasn't long before my thighs felt like bricks of ice but I wandered around Dupont Circle and took it all in. Everyone is… Read full post »

I guess it's time to come out of the closet. I'm a human being with sympathy and empathy for people of races and religions other than my own. I have a deep love for lands near and far; I won't use the word foreign as an adjective because under Bush the… Read full post »

JANUARY 15, 2009 1:41AM


I was just thinking of how my cousin's wife and children barely made it out of Lebanon alive in the summer of 2006. In my father's salon, in Jeddah, on the same street that my entire family built their houses on; in the room with the lush, toe-curling blue carpet; where… Read full post »

My most recent post anticipated this mess. How I never enjoy New Years because something awful transpires in the region and I just want the damn year over with already. Well, it's happened again and this time the government of Dubai agrees with me. 

It's hard to want to celebrate… Read full post »

DECEMBER 26, 2008 12:09PM

All Is Quiet?

New Years isn't much more to me than a simple change in the Gregorian calender. In my twenties I took on New Years with all the enthusiasm of a college student for a free keg: bring it on! But in my thirties I've spent every New Year's in the Middle East,… Read full post »

DECEMBER 20, 2008 5:24PM

Solstice Dispatch From Dubai

I’m sipping chai at Maghreb. The sunset prayer call echoes across the Um Suqeim district and lingers in the otherwise quiet twilight. As they have done for centuries, the minarets call out the rise-and-fall adhan simultaneously or at a slight lag with each other. The effect is richly textured;… Read full post »

DECEMBER 9, 2008 2:17PM

Surrender London

From the top of Highgate Hill the city of London below glitters like the Emerald City; I can see all the way into Soho.The lights are crisp in the inky northern darkness and the air is frosty enough to turn the air I exhale into ribbons of steam. Arsenal's Emirates Stadium… Read full post »

When the Christmas lights go up, I check out. Not just mentally, from the canned jingles and barrage of advertisements, but physically as well. As soon as Thanksgiving ends, I count down the days until my yearly exit from December’s chill, when I travel home to the U.A.E for the Holidays.… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 26, 2008 12:40AM

Michael Jackson Mind-Melds with the Middle East

I, for one, could have told you this was going to happen. I realize it’s sort a of non-event, and yet more evidence of Michael’s descent into wacko-land, but this conversion has been a long time coming. You see, the Arab world has never stopped loving Michael Jackson, he had us… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 20, 2008 4:07PM

The State of Virginia

I'm still shaken up. Fingers trembling. About an hour ago as I was driving home, a gold Cadillac began honking at me, pulled parallel, and the driver flashed me the middle finger over, and over again. Now I thought gee, I must have cut him off, or something. But I knew… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 18, 2008 10:02PM

IFC Media Project

Gideon Yago heads an investigative news program that deconstructs media. It debuted tonight, and the centerpiece of the half-hour show focused on " the pro-Israel lobby influences the narrative in press coverage of Israel and US-Israel relations."

I was especially touched when Mark LeVine, a Mi… Read full post »